Pingjiang was modern Suzhou and its prosperity was inseparable from its climate. Lin Yuan learned this when he studied geography. Suzhou had distinct seasons and abundant rain which was good for planting rice, wheat and oilseed, producing cotton, sericulture, and fruits. Suzhou also had many famous special local products such as Chengyang Lake hairy crabs, etc. It was characterized by subtropical monsoon oceanic climate.
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Fan Dacheng in the Song Dynasty once said: “Warm spring and fragrant flowers, abundant grain every year, truly up above there is heaven, down below there are Suzhou and Hangzhou.”
Poets in the Tang Dynasty also said: “People say you come from the south of the Yangtze River, and I say you come from heaven.”
When Lin Yuan saw Pingjiang’s granary, he realized that these compliments were indeed not exaggerated.
The abundance of grains in the granary of Pingjiang was extremely rare. In other cities and prefectures, the grains were all old grains. Officials wanted to embezzle so new grains would not be put into the granaries. The grains in the granaries were mostly old grains from a few years ago. Lin Yuan had also seen a place where their granaries were full of moldy grains that had been left there for more than ten years. Don’t even mention eating it, it could turn into coarse sand with just a rub of the fingers.
Were the former officials of Pingjiang not greedy?
Naturally, they were also greedy.
But no matter how greedy they were, the granary in Pingjiang was always full. Although there were old grains in it, there were also a lot of new grains.
Probably because of the good weather, each grain of rice grown in Pingjiang was both plump and fragrant.
After the wheat was ground into flour, the pastry made from it was more chewy than usual.
Lin Yuan was now holding a bowl of rice in his hand. The white rice was paired with boiled fish, and he ate it contentedly.
He had transmigrated to here for so long and he hadn’t paid too much attention to the food he ate. There were too many things every day, just like in the third year in high school he was so busy that he barely even had time to eat. So long as he wouldn’t starve to death he would continue to be busy. But such a high pressure lifestyle lasted only one year in high school, whereas he had lived several years like this in the ancient times. If one was preoccupied by things, even the food of the gods would become tasteless on the tongue.
Chen Baisong just came back with the army. The two of them sat at the table to eat. Lin Yuan drank a sip of chicken soup and leaned back on the chair in satisfaction. He was so full that his stomach was slightly protruding. However, he saw that Chen Baisong’s complexion remained unchanged, eight bowls of white rice already finished and yet still ready to refill a ninth.
Even Lin Yuan, a man who had experienced the growth stage, felt that this appetite was too big.
After all, the bowl was not a small bowl.
He wondered: “Where did all the food go to?”
He didn’t see Chen Baisong putting on any weight, though his muscles did become firmer.
Chen Baisong put down the bowl and chopsticks, having just eaten the last piece of fish.
Chen Baisong didn’t know how to spit out the fish bones. Don’t know how but he learned a new way of eating fish. Chew the fish and rice together and if there was a bone, swallow it together with the rice. Take another bite of rice without chewing it and then just swallow it directly so the fish bones wouldn’t get stuck in the throat.
Lin Yuan was frightened to see this, fearing that Chen Baisong would choke to death in the next second.
Chen Baisong’s sitting posture was better than Lin Yuan’s. His physique was stronger than Lin Yuan’s and with his back straightened his whole person looked very imposing. After all, he was a general who had been trained on the battlefield and was no longer the boy who herd cattle and drove carts before.
People were always going to change.
Lin Yuan had forgotten where he had heard this saying, but now that he thought about it, it made a lot of sense.
“Nothing remains the same in this world, and the only constant is change.”
Chen Baisong said: “I always feel I can’t eat enough.”
Lin Yuan: “What did you eat when you were marching?”
Chen Baisong thought for a while: “Dry food is filling enough.”
The dry foods Chen Baisong mentioned were actually mixed grain buns. Because fearing it would go bad, it was made to have a long shelf life. Lin Yuan tried it once and could only bite it in small bites, a big bite just couldn’t have any effect at all. If the dry buns were put in hot water and cooked for a while, it would be better, but it didn’t have much taste, the only good thing about it was that it could fill the stomach.
Soldiers could eat meat if they win a battle. The meat was dried meat and sausages. These two kinds of meat were not easy to spoil. In addition, Lin Yuan had salt mines under his rule, so there was no headache because of the lack of salt. Fresh meat was not possible as it would not last for more than two days. And it was impossible to bring ice on the march.
“I will have people think about a way.” Lin Yuan stood up, and Chen Baisong followed Lin Yuan.
The two of them took a walk in the corridor. The flowers and plants in Pingjiang grew better than those in Gaoyou. The flowers in the courtyard appeared to be full of vigor and one didn’t even need to take care of them too much. They could grow well on their own, and they would only appear less vigorous when it came time to wither. Lin Yuan was preoccupied with thoughts, and Chen Baisong was not a talkative person so they both walked quietly.
“It is enough to keep 50,000 soldiers in Pingjiang.” Lin Yuan said to Chen Bosong, “You take the rest out and do your old business.”
Chen Baisong didn’t ask him either——this was what Lin Yuan liked the most. After Lin Yuan gave an order, Chen Baisong would execute it. He would not ask why, nor would he make his own interpretation.
What Lin Yuan established was a new regime, and every regime should behave like a machine, only in that way there would be no place that would get stuck.
Discussing politics, managing the people’s livelihood, serving as a soldier, each link was closely connected and tightly integrated to have stronger execution capabilities.
If orders were issued, and the people below had their own ideas, even just a bit, the implementation of the orders would be greatly reduced.
In fact, modernity and ancient times were similar in one thing, that was, centralized power.
Modern times seemed to be decentralized, but no matter which country, decision-making was still made by a small group of people. If everyone could make decisions, could affect government orders, then the country would be in chaos.
Wasn’t that the case of those who came to give Lin Yuan cities and provinces?
They overthrew the rule above and distributed power to those who followed them in accordance with their original promise.
And the result?
They just couldn’t continue on at all. A thousand mouths with a thousand sayings, everyone had their own opinion.
People possessed selfish motives, but for some people even if they had selfish motives, they would still have regard for righteousness.
But some people only had selfishness and had no regard for family and country, becoming vermins. If those in power did not find out, these vermins would grow bigger and bigger, forming cliques, occupying a greater right to speak, and eventually even those in power wouldn’t be able to shake them.
The ruler and his ministers themselves were mutual checks and balances. The ruler was strong and the minister was weak. If the monarch was a tyrant, the courtiers couldn’t do anything, they could only cry and hang themselves.
If the emperor was weak and the minister was strong, the emperor would just be a puppet. Like the city of Anfeng now, wasn’t Liu Futong in control of the government? The Xiao Ming Emperor was just a puppet in his hand.
If Xiao Ming Emperor dared to take back the power in Liu Futong’s hands and dared to confront Liu Futong head-on, Liu Futong could completely paralyze the government.
Without courtiers, was the king still the king?
People were profit-seeking creatures. If one followed Liu Futong, one could hold real power and get promoted.
Whereas following Xiao Ming Emperor, even if Xiao Ming Emperor could hand out promotions, could one even hold real power, would one’s words even possess any weight?
People talk about orthodoxy, but in their hearts they know that whoever had power, then whoever was orthodox.
Chen Baisong said: “Someone sent me a gift.”
Lin Yuan: “Who?”
Chen Baisong said: “Zhao Chengguang.”
Lin Yuan had a question mark on his face, who was this person? He hadn’t heard of him before.
Chen Baisong: “He used to be a village head and led the villagers against the court, capturing Jiang Lin.”
……Lin Yuan could not recall such a person among the famous uprising leaders in the late Yuan Dynasty.
He guessed that this person was not recorded in the history books because he didn’t have much capability? After all, there were rebellions all over the Yuan Dynasty and it might not be possible to write them all down.
Chen Baisong said again: “He also had someone send me a letter and asked me to show it to you.”
Lin Yuan took over the letter with a strange expression. This Zhao Chengguang was a madman, and he was so mad that one didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
The letter read: “I rebelled and killed all those corrupt officials. I heard that you have done well for yourself. We are both the same. I am going to ascend the throne soon. If you are free, come over and participate in my enthronement ceremony. I’ll give you an official title, and it definitely won’t be a small one. I will be the emperor and you will be a prince. We will discuss the title at that time. You must come. If you don’t come, then that means you look down on me. I will then send troops after you.”
Lin Yuan handed the letter to Chen Baisong to read.
After Chen Baisong read it, his expression suddenly became fierce. His whole person looked like a sharp-edged knife, buzzing to drink blood: “I’m going to take this person’s head!”
Lin Yuan waved his hand and smiled: “No, why waste your troops.”
Lin Yuan continued to walk forward: “There are too many people like this. If you fight all of them, wouldn’t it be exhausting?”
Some rebels only just looked for profit. They dared to call themselves emperors with only a few thousand people under their rule, confer a bunch of officials, gather a harem, and then become the emperor in a place where no one paid much attention to. When the world was settled and the one in power wanted to show benevolence, maybe they could get an official position and continue to be a local tyrant. If the ruler was unwilling to show benevolence, then everything would be game over.
Just like the court, did they really not want to send troops to fight the rebels directly?
Of course they want to, but the reason for why they recruited these rebels every time, included not only lack of military strength but also a desire to keep up appearances.
You see, he rebelled, but I didn’t beat him up. So long as he surrendered, I would give him an official position.
Are you also tired of rebelling? Then if you accept my recruitment, I will also give you an official position.
If the Yuan Dynasty was not overthrown afterwards, then all those who were recruited would eventually meet with misfortune.
But most people who had been recruited were not aware of this. Their eyes could only see what was in front of them, and they could only see the benefits that they could immediately get in their hands.
Chen Baisong looked at the letter with a grim expression.
Lin Yuan: “Don’t be so serious, give me a smile.”
Chen Baisong: “…..”
However, there was one thing Pingjiang was inferior to Gaoyou. Gaoyou was in chaos at the time. The old rules were broken and Lin Yuan could easily and successfully establish a new order. However, Pingjiang did not experience the same chaos as Gaoyou did. Pingjiang’s rules were stable and people were used to it. The officials also only knew this method.
It was very difficult to change.
Lin Yuan sighed and said to Chen Baisong: “You go back and rest first.”
Chen Baisong nodded: “Young master, take care of your health.”
Lin Yuan: “I know.”
He had to think about how to change Pingjiang into what he wanted with minimal damage.
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Now that Pingjiang had changed hands, there was less resistance to change. But if he waited until after all the dust settled to make changes then the difficulty would elevate from three stars to ten stars.
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